Special leave: Vicarious liability & sufficient connection to employment.

CCIG Investments Pty Ltd v Schokman [2022] HCATrans 156 (on JADE).

On 16 September 2022 the High Court (Keane, Edelman and steward JJ) granted special leave in this matter, on the application of an employer.

Mr Walker, for the applicant employer, referred to “the unfinished business concerning vicarious liability in this Court’s decision in Prince Alfred College v ADC 258 CLR 134 at paragraph 41, the familiar phrase was used “a touchstone for liability” concerning the phrase “course or scope of employment” which was then developed in those reasons as being perhaps productive of more questions than answers.”

He suggested that a grant of special leave in this matter would “provide an ideal opportunity for the Court to recommence a case‑by‑case teasing out of the facts of particular disputes what might be a principled approach rather than an intuitive announcement of conclusion”.

The applicant later referred to the central issue as “the need to focus on the relation of the Act tortious by the employee as having or not having a sufficient connection so as to render it just to hold the employer liable”.

The underling decisions for this appeal can be found here:

Queensland Supreme Court.

Queensland Court of Appeal.

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